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There is weird morning baseball today

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The third Monday in April is Patriots’ Day, an official holiday in Massachusetts, Maine and Wisconsin, and nodded at unofficially in several other states. Schools and banks and stuff are closed in the places that observe it and the Boston Marathon is being run as we speak. For our purposes, we get morning baseball.

Today the Red Sox take on the Orioles at 11:05AM EDT. Dan Straily gets the call for Baltimore, Hector Velázquez gets the call for the Bosox. The fun part of morning baseball, though, is the lineup Boston is trotting out:

1. Dustin Pedroia (R) DH
2. Mookie Betts (R) CF
3. Mitch Moreland (L) 1B
4. J.D. Martinez (R) RF
5. Xander Bogaerts (R) SS
6. Rafael Devers (L) 3B
7. Steve Pearce (R) LF
8. Blake Swihart (S) C
9. Christian Vázquez (R) 2B

Yeah, that’s catcher Christian Vázquez at second base. He has played four games at third base in the past but has never played the keystone in the big leagues. That should be fun. Steve Pearce played a couple of games in the outfield last year but this is his first action out there in 2019. Between that and J.D. Martinez getting the start in right, Mookie Betts is gonna get a lot of running in today.

Viva morning baseball.

Video: Starling Marte refuses to take first base after being hit by pitch

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Pirates outfielder Starling Marte was hit on the hand by a Jack Flaherty pitch in the fourth inning of Tuesday night’s game against the Cardinals. Rather than take first base, Marte — who came to the plate with a runner on first base — insisted to home plate umpire Bruce Dreckman that the ball hit the knob of the bat, not his hand. Marte was allowed to continue his at-bat, though manager Clint Hurdle came out to discuss the ruling with Dreckman. Marte eventually grounded into a fielder’s choice. He then got caught attempting to steal second base and the Pirates scored zero runs in the inning.

According to Baseball Prospectus, a team that has runners on first and second with no outs is expected to score 1.55 runs. Having a runner on first base with one out yields 0.56 expected runs. Marte essentially cost his team a run by rejecting first base. Oops.